Each country has a different view on online gambling and other similar activities. Still, most markets are regulated today, allowing the best online casinos to expand globally. However, there are activities that remain in the grey area. These are related to video games. There are plenty of free games available in the market, but many of them feature loot boxes. These game mechanics resemble gambling activities. Since they are part of video games that children play, certain countries have created strict rules to prevent gaming addiction. In this article, we will examine whether Canada accepts video games with loot boxes. Let’s start with the gambling status in the country and whether Canadian online casinos can operate in it. You’ll then see what loot boxes are and how they relate to gambling.
What is the Current Status of Online Gambling in Canada?
As of 2022, most of the Canadian online gambling market remains grey. That means that it’s not essentially illegal. However, all casinos online need to have a license to operate if they’re on Canadian territory. As this is impossible in some provinces due to local regulation, many online casinos Canada is operated by the state. Still, there are exceptions in some provinces, where casinos online in Canada can apply for a license in a regulated market. Since April 2022, numerous sports betting and online casinos in Canada can legally operate in the province.
That’s a crucial step, as it has set the foundation for future province regulation. Some to follow include:
- British Columbia
These changes play an important role in the best online casino in Canada race. Brands can enter the new market and start competing for the top spot. That means that the best Canadian casinos will become available in regulated provinces legally. But for now, the best casino sites in Canada remain accessible only to the Ontario province. Those in other provinces can access offshore brands and enjoy playing there.
Why is all this important for the video game loot boxes? Well, the principle they’re based on is very similar to gambling.
What are Video Game Loot Boxes?
Video games use a broad range of mechanics to keep players entertained. Loot boxes are a popular approach, as they rely on the element of luck, which many players love trying out. In essence, players pay to receive loot boxes with specific items inside. Usually, these are game-specific skins or other collectibles of different rarity levels. The game that has popularized this concept is Counter-Strike. Loot boxes contain weapon skins that players can equip, making their weapons unique.
Given that players don’t know what item they’re going to get, some might consider this gambling. Even though the player can’t sell the item for real money, it’s still an activity that requires paying for a lucky roll for an item. Therefore, in a way, it’s considered a gambling activity. That’s why in many markets, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, games containing loot boxes are banned, or their versions in local markets don’t contain any.
The main worry is that these mechanics make players more addicted to the game without them realizing it.
Does Canada Accept Games with Loot Boxes?
At the time of writing this article, games with loot boxes were completely legal in Canada. However, it’s important to mention that there’s a class-action civil lawsuit in progress against EA games. It has started a debate about whether these games should be allowed in the market. The ruling in favor of the people would probably spark future regulations that such mechanics become prohibited in Canada. Still, it’s necessary to wait for the trial’s outcome to make any assumptions. One thing is certain, games that have loot boxes in their offering should be cautious, as they might be next in line for lawsuits in the unregulated market.
For now, loot box mechanics will stay on the table in Canada. However, it being a gambling activity essentially will likely force the authorities to change regulations and make them more restrictive. Still, we’ll have to wait for the outcome of a currently ongoing class-action lawsuit. It will have a big impact on how loot boxes are handled in Canada. They will likely either require games to remove them or put a higher game age requirement. The authorities will do what’s best for its citizens since the mechanics are quite addictive.